Ailanthus Webworm Moth
Atteva punctella
August 15, 2010

  I first thought this striking moth was a beetle; however, thanks to online references I eventually identified it as an Ailanthus webworm moth. I came across the moth on a milkweed (which had on its leaves a dozen or so Ailanthus webworms).
Ailanthus Webworm Moth
  BugGuide.Net has this to say about the Ailanthus webworm moth:
    Larvae live in communal webs. One generation a year. The main larval food plant (Ailanthus altissima) is also known as Tree of Heaven, Stinking Sumac, Copal Tree, or Varnish Tree, and occurs throughout most of United States and southern Canada, often planted as an ornamental in urban areas. The tree is native to Asia, and is an invasive species in North America, but the moth is native, and its range has increased, presumably, since the introduction of the tree.

Photo note: The photo was taken on August 14, 2010, with the Pentax K20D and the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens.

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